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One day in 1978, at the height of the cold war, 300 foreign correspondents were invited to an official reception in Bonn, Germany, hosted by Soviet Ambassador Valentin Falin, to celebrate "the 10th anniversary of the suppression of counterrevolutionary forces in Czechoslovakia"—an event better known in the West as the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. "How could they have the gall!" one incredulous journalist reportedly exclaimed.

The answer? "They" hadn't. The invitations were produced and sent by a clever political satirist with a knack for forgery.

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